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Old 12-01-2019, 05:44 PM
CelticKnot is offline
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This is not a Christmas sweater!


...and it's rather rude to call it ugly.

1. I have found that if I wear a green sweater any time from November to January, someone will comment on my Christmas sweater. I have 3 green sweaters because green is my favorite color, and the shades I like are very common colors for winter clothes. But they aren't Christmas sweaters. One is bright green with some black designs, one has an Irish claddagh embroidered on it, and the other is forest green with a "fair isle" pattern with snowflakes. Most people say nothing, but there's usually someone who will loudly say something about it. And rarely complementary. Are people now so accustomed to the Ugly Christmas sweater that they can only see that?
If I wear one of those sweaters to a Christmas party at which some people decide to wear ugly sweaters, will people assume I think it is ugly? I wonder if I can wear any Christmas top this year.

2. I really dislike the idea of the ugly Christmas sweater because I think people have deliberately misunderstood Christmas sweaters. I suspect the original "ugly" Christmas sweaters came from someone who knew how to do needlework and wanted to give handmade gifts to family members. People could not get rid of them even if they were not to their taste, because someone's feelings might be hurt. So they have these sweaters they think are tacky but must wear them. But most of these were gifts made and given in love, not to torment the recipient. To then use the gift as a joke is rather insulting to the maker. And the ugly sweaters you can buy are a mockery of hand-made gifts.

Do you have such a sweater? Was it a gift or a gag? Have you ever given hand-made gifts (as an adult; kids' school projects don't count)?
  #2  
Old 12-01-2019, 06:02 PM
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I don't have a Christmas sweater now, but I was given one as a gift from my aunt when I was a teen. This would have been more than 25 years ago.

I'm sorry, but it was ugly. I don't care if it wasn't explicitly marketed that way; it was the fugliest garmet I've ever seen and it solidified in my mind that my aunt is nutso. I accepted the sweater with a smile and a thank you, but it is probably decaying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean right now. I feel no guilt. I probably would have some if she had made it herself, but she did not.

I agree that it is rude to call a sweater that someone else is wearing "ugly". It is also rude to tell a gift-giver they've given an "ugly" gift unless it's clear that it's a gag gift.

But I would advise gift-givers to not give someone a Christmas sweater unless they already know that person is a lover of Christmas sweaters. It really does seem to be one of those "you either love it or hate it" kind of things. Like Crocs.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:04 PM
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I have an ugly Christmas sweater that I received as a gift a few years ago. It's red with a an embroidered pig on the front, wearing a Santa hat. I love it!!
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:11 PM
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Sweaters are not a big thing in South Arkansas. But I used to make my kids wear matching ones every Christmas for pictures. They hated it. I love the pix, but I do have a touch of guilt for making them do it. Maybe.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 12-01-2019 at 06:12 PM.
  #5  
Old 12-02-2019, 08:22 AM
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This is not a Christmas sweater!


It's a post about a Christmas sweater.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:59 AM
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I do not wear sweaters, ever. But I did once comment on someone's sweater, asking if they won the Ugly-Xmas-Sweater-Contest. I thought I was being funny, but they didn't get it.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:25 AM
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I once had a nice sweater that showed the month of December, with all the dates in red except the 25th.

Someone: Oh, that's a nice Christmas sweater
Me: No, it's NOT a Christmas sweater.
Someone: Well, what is it then?
Me: It's my BIRFDAY sweater. Where do you see "Christmas" written on this sweater?
Peojple: Oh.
  #8  
Old 12-02-2019, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
It's a post about a Christmas sweater.
In other words...A Tribute ?!

I have intentionally bought "ugly" Christmas sweaters but only for an event we go to annually where the opening night dinner is an tacky sweater night. Christmas in November. It's amazing!
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Last edited by swampspruce; 12-02-2019 at 10:53 AM.
  #9  
Old 12-02-2019, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
I have intentionally bought "ugly" Christmas sweaters but only for an event we go to annually where the opening night dinner is an tacky sweater night. Christmas in November. It's amazing!
Following that link, I see that the event is held at a (ski?) lodge in Alberta, Canada.

The Ugly Sweater thing has always seemed like an out-of-nowhere "tradition" with no real traceable provenance. However, this article puts forth that the original Ugly Sweater party was held as a benefit in Vancouver in 2002.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticKnot View Post
One [sweater] is bright green with some black designs, one has an Irish claddagh embroidered on it, and the other is forest green with a "fair isle" pattern with snowflakes. Most people say nothing, but there's usually someone who will loudly say something about it. And rarely complementary. Are people now so accustomed to the Ugly Christmas sweater that they can only see that?
Seems that way. IMHO, the sweaters you describe are tasteful and are far away from what an Ugly Christmas Sweater is in 2019. There's now an element of intent in the ugliness -- maybe 20 years ago, kitschy crocheting in an odd pattern would've been enough. But no longer.

I take it, though, that patterned sweaters of any type are just kind of out-of-style right now among the more fashion-forward. I can see a conflation between "not fashionable" and "Ugly Sweater!".
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
Following that link, I see that the event is held at a (ski?) lodge in Alberta, Canada.

The Ugly Sweater thing has always seemed like an out-of-nowhere "tradition" with no real traceable provenance. However, this article puts forth that the original Ugly Sweater party was held as a benefit in Vancouver in 2002.
Oh, Jasper Park Lodge is one of my favourite hotels. Unbelievable views, great staff and the food is to die for. Oka sushi is one of the best sushi restaurants I've ever been to.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
....
But I would advise gift-givers to not give someone a Christmas sweater unless they already know that person is a lover of Christmas sweaters. It really does seem to be one of those "you either love it or hate it" kind of things. Like Crocs.
Or as a joke which you know will be understood as one. The WalMart in the smallish town my daughter lives in has truly hideous, garish, sweaters on sale just before Christmas. They take every "Ugly Christmas Sweater" meme as a challenge and are really rather amazing, in their own horrifying way.

So I bought her one last year. It had a dog appliqued on the front, and (I think) a glittery tassel, and strings of plastic "mardi gras"-type beads festooning it. It was truly a thing of "beauty". I meant it as a joke, she knew it was a joke, and I'm pretty sure she never wore it. I hope that if she ever gets a dog, she remembers to remove the chewable bits before encouraging the dog to pee all over it... which honestly is the best use for it except it probably isn't very absorbent.

Getting back to the OP: If someone says "nice holiday sweater" or something along those lines, smile and ignore 'em; they aren't necessarily mean, just clueless. If they say "hahaha nice ugly sweater", well they're being rude as hell. Not much you can do about that beyond smiling, ignoring, and thinking "nice ugly face. Difference is, I can take the sweater off at the end of the day!".

Oh - and hand-made gifts: yes, several times. Either scarves (made my daughter a hat / scarf set one year in her favorite color; not sure she appreciated it) and several rather lovely afghans which I later inherited from the recipients and use daily. Plus the odd bit of needlework; some of which was appreciated, some of which may or may not have been.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 12-02-2019 at 12:42 PM.
  #13  
Old 12-02-2019, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticKnot View Post
2. I really dislike the idea of the ugly Christmas sweater because I think people have deliberately misunderstood Christmas sweaters. I suspect the original "ugly" Christmas sweaters came from someone who knew how to do needlework and wanted to give handmade gifts to family members. People could not get rid of them even if they were not to their taste, because someone's feelings might be hurt. So they have these sweaters they think are tacky but must wear them. But most of these were gifts made and given in love, not to torment the recipient. To then use the gift as a joke is rather insulting to the maker. And the ugly sweaters you can buy are a mockery of hand-made gifts.
I make sweaters. I know exactly how much work goes into them (and how much care as well.) I might think of a Fana sweater in green & white as a wintertime or Christmas sweater because of the color scheme & design elements that look snowflake-ish, but I wouldn't think of it as an "Ugly Christmas Sweater."

The things that I see marketed as "ugly Christmas sweaters" don't look, to me, like mockeries of those handmade gifts. They look like a six-year-old and their four-year-old sibling were let loose in a glitter & sequin factory and then handed a Bedazzler for good measure. It's a different thing.

Last edited by amarinth; 12-02-2019 at 02:20 PM.
  #14  
Old 12-02-2019, 03:24 PM
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I was always under the impression that an ugly sweater used to be something that granny or another relative knitted for you. Because it was from a(n elderly) relative, you couldn't just toss it but had to keep it & even ::gasp:: wear it & that the first ugly sweater contests were only available to those who had received a ugly handknit sweater.
Now that just about every store sells them & some of them are even licensed (sports teams, beer brands, etc.) they've lost their effectiveness. Now they're intentionally made to be as garish/kitschy as possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticKnot View Post
Have you ever given hand-made gifts (as an adult; kids' school projects don't count)?
Define handmade; I'm a photographer, I've given people hangable photos that I've taken, usually of them. They have always appreciated them.
  #15  
Old 12-02-2019, 04:09 PM
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Have you ever in your life said "that's a handmade photograph "?
  #16  
Old 12-02-2019, 06:07 PM
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I like pretty Christmas sweaters but have never been able to justify spending money on something I can only wear in December. I do have a glorious, red sweater that I will wear with holiday pins or a cheap, seasonal necklace that works just fine for me. I've noticed that even if I just pin a snowflake pin to a sweater, everyone thinks it's a holiday sweater. I gather that most people have no imagination.
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